Wandering Wino: Back to School Edition

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It became immediately apparent during the morning commute that the kiddies are back to school. Well, at least, that's what I heard from all you civilians on Twitter. Your Wandering Wino's commute is from the upstairs bedroom to the coffee maker in the kitchen, and the dogs don't seem to be delaying my commute any more than usual.

But since it's time for the chilluns to get back to class, then maybe Bitesters should indulge in a little book learning themselves. Fortunately, the Skillery continues to offer some great courses for you to further your knowledge of all things boozy.

First period for you should be their brewing workshop this Saturday, Aug. 18, at Brick Factory, 209 10th Ave. S., from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Kendall Joseph will be teaching the class, and he is well-qualified to be your instructor with years of home-brewing experience. As he says, "It's not hard to make good beer, it just takes practice."

Here's the syllabus for you:

Gain the knowledge needed to kick-start your personal brewing adventure. Brewmaster Kendall Joseph will demonstrate proper technique and process overview by brewing a batch from scratch using malt extract and tasting various home brews. Participants will then have an opportunity to test their skills with the bottling process.

Participants will leave with the knowledge necessary to start their own home brewing experience and an opportunity to return and taste the brew made during the workshop.

To register for class and pay your $25 tuition, visit the event website.

If you're more of a whiskey student than a beer fan, then consider Holland House mixologist extraordinaire Jeremiah Blake's American Whiskey III: The Rest of America class. I've been a student in the first two semesters of Blake's classes and can attest that he is an extremely knowledgeable and engaging teacher. The class will be held at Holland House on Tuesday, Aug. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. and costs $45, but you'll definitely get your money's worth in education and tastings.

Here's what to expect in class:

In this installment of our popular American Whiskey series at Holland House Bar and Refuge in East Nashville, bartender Jeremiah Blake will focus on introducing American whiskey made outside of Kentucky and Tennessee.

The night will begin with snacks, Haymaker punch (bourbon, choc/strawberry tea, citrus and champagne), and an opportunity to order food from Holland House’s bar menu. Servers from Holland House will be on hand, providing table service throughout the evening.

Our journey will begin in earnest at 6:30 p.m., with a whiskey overview, a discussion of key figures, and an exploration of how different climates and water sources affect the taste of the popular spirit. Of course, you’ll sample several classic and unique whiskeys from craft distilleries across the United States, including Hudson, High West, Stanahan's and a few surprise selections.

Class registration is available here.

If you'd rather just taste than learn, there are a couple of nice wine tasting opportunities coming up as well. The first is today and tomorrow at Moon Wine and Spirits at 6910 Moores Lane in Brentwood where they'll be be tasting four wines from Washington State, including two reds from Milbrandt Vineyards, the Brothers Blend and their Traditions Cabernet Sauvignon which received 90 points from Wine Spectator. They'll also be showcasing the versatility of the Riesling grape by offering the Chateau St. Michelle Dry Riesling as well as the Hogue Late Harvest Riesling. Admission is free for this one.

Tasting Friday is 5-8 PM
Tasting Saturday is 2-5 PM

Finally, Midtown Wine and Spirits has a real wine rock star coming to town for a tasting on Saturday, Aug. 25, from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.. Jean-Pascal Lacaze was raised in a famous Bordeaux producing family and has studied winemaking all over the world. In addition to shepherding the family's production, Lacaze is the winemaker for Anka, Pargua and Penalolen, members of the Clos Quebrada de Macul family of wines. Midtown will pop the cork on several of his wines, and the vintner will be there to answer all your questions and maybe even sign a bottle or two for you.

Study hard!

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